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Looking for Good Chow in Penticton [Moved from Canada board]

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We'll be visiting from Boston in September with old friends who live just south of the Canadian border. We'd like to treat them one evening to a nice dinner in Penticton . Are there any good places that serve local (non-salt water) fish, e.g., perch, trout,etc. Failing that, other favorite recs will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Elzoe:

    You may do better posting your quaere as the Western Canadian board as this one tends to deal primarily with the Maritimes.

    It has been a few years since we visited the Okanagan and most of my "second hand" restaurant information relates to Kelowna rather than Penticton.

    A number of the wineries in the area have good dining rooms and probably feature local ingredients but I am not sure about fresh water fish.

    Quails Gate, Sumac Ridge, Mission Hill and Burrowing Owl are four which spring to mind with the first three being up toward Kelowna and the fourth being further south.

    If you make it down toward Oliver and Osoyoos, Passa Tempo at a new resort I think on one of the First Nations reserves near the Inkameep Winery is supposed to be very good. It was opened by Brad Lazarenko from Edmonton whose food is always inventinve and interesting. He operates Culina in Edmonton.

    If you are prepared to drive to Kelowna I can recommend Rob Butters' Fresco. From others I have been told that Waterfront Wine Bar and Bouchons are good.

    In Penticton itself, the only spot we ate at and enjoyed was a Greek place...probably does not fit your request for fresh local fish ... that has been around for quite some time called Theo's.

    I have since seen it receive less than enthusiastic reviews elsewhere but the night we went it was very good and had an excellent and lengthy wine list featuring the wines of the Okanagan ....i.e. not just flagons of retsina.

    Enjoy your visit. We are going to get down to the Okanagan at some point either next Fall or next spring in time for one of the wine festivals.

    1. I second Bob Mac's recommendation that you try one of the wineries. I am sure they have fresh local fish on the menu, and they are usually very good. They also have the benefit of beautiful hillside locations overlooking the lake!

      1 Reply
      1. re: victoriafoodie

        Hi Elzoe,

        Thank goodness that dining in Penticton and the South Okanagan has really improved in the last few years.

        We spend part of the year out in the Naramata Bench area and here are my picks for best eating in the area:

        Madhina's Patio at Lake Breeze Winery (Naramata) is wonderful. It's open from the Spring Wine Festival to the Fall Wine Festival for lunches only. The menu changes a lot, so I won't even bother with menu items, but just go. There are Mediterranean overtones, but the chef also draws heavily on local ingredients. www.lakebreeze.ca

        The Naramata Heritage Inn and Spa has the Cobblestone Wine Bar, which is also a great place for lunch or dinner (the food is very good, and they have lots of Naramata Bench wines by the glass). It's right in the Naramata village and the renovated heritage building has loads of character. http://naramatainn.com/winebar.php

        A little bit more casual, but with good food is Hillside Winery's Cellar Door Bistro. We go there for good pizzas, salads, soups and pastas. http://www.hillsideestate.com/restaur...

        There's a great coffee shop and deli bar in Penticton called The Bench Market (368 Vancouver Avenue, Penticton -- near the marina). They serve light lunches and snacks, and sell all sorts of local gourment products like vinegars, local cheeses and preserves.

        Buy the Sea -- a fish market in Apple Plaza at 1848 Main Street Penticton -- serves the most incredible fish and chips. When fresh halibut is in season it haunts my dreams! They also make a fantastic homemade coleslaw. I highly recommend saving room for fish and chips at Buy the Sea.

        And if you are heading to Oliver / Osoyoos, dining at Burrowing Owl is a lovely experience. The food is very French, which I usually don't like, but chef Bernard Casavant has made me a believer. If you don't want to splurge on a full meal (it's pricey but very worth it), they serve a mean sampler platter in the mid-afternoon (at least they did last summer when we were there). But if you can find it in the budget, go for broke there! www.bovwine.ca/menu.html

        I could go on, but hope this helps. EdiblePrairieJennifer (who splits her time between the Prairies and the Okanagan)

      2. I agree with the Naramata bench wineries recommendation. If you like Greek food, Theo's is the finest example of it I've seen outside of Greece itself. It has a wonderful atmosphere, and traditional Greek favourites like tzatziki, tramasalata, greek salad, souvlaki, moussaka and on and on. Really delicious. And the atmosphere is terrific. Theo's gets my vote for best restaurant in Penticton.
        If you want something on the water, the Hooded Merganser at the Lakeside Resort has great atmosphere and above average food. They sever steaks, burgers, seafood, and other standard fare.
        If you like asian, there is a Thai restaurant in town which believe is called Mon Thong or perhaps Boa Thong, and it is very tasty. The Indian restaurant, Navratan, is also pretty good. But both of these restaurants pale in comparison to Theo's and the Merganser in terms of atmosphere.